Indonesia blocks fuel prices hike on protests
JAKARTA - The Associated Press
Indonesian workers pull down a fence on a highway during a protest against the government’s plan to hike the price of fuel in Jakarta on March 30. AFP photoIndonesia’s parliament has blocked the government’s plan to hike fuel prices by more than 30 percent this weekend, but will allow a future price increase under certain conditions.
The government was set to raise the price of gasoline from around 50 cents to 65 cents per liter yesterday. It says it has no choice but to cut budget-busting fuel subsidies, which have for years enabled motorists to fill up for roughly $2 per gallon. The 550-seat house voted early on March 31 to allow a price hike only if the average price of Indonesian crude in six months soars 15 percent above $105 a barrel, to $120.75 per barrel. The average price of Indonesian crude is now $116.49 per barrel.
The vote came amid massive street protests in major cities against the plan.